Libyan rebels are foreign terrorists – Russian Communist leader

A Libyan rebel fighter  (AFP Photo / Odd Andersen)
The leader of the Russian Communist Party believes the so-called opposition in Libya is made up of employees of foreign oil companies and terrorists.

­Nevertheless, he said Russia was capable of mediating the crisis and of leading Libya to a peaceful settlement.

In the official written address distributed by the press service of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation on Wednesday, the party leader, Gennadiy Zyuganov, said that the Libyan opposition was getting its support and financing from Western nations.

"It is quite obvious now that most of the so-called rebels are foreign citizens who work for numerous Western oil companies in Libya and who are often connected with terrorist networks, who are armed, sponsored and acting in the interests of former colonial powers,” the statement reads. 

“It is shocking that in Libya NATO is actively cooperating with those very international terrorists that it claims it is fighting all over the world. So-called rebels are in reality NATO’s support units, a sort of a private army of the West,” the Communist leader wrote.

Zyuganov also believes that after the Western coalition understood that it was impossible to overthrow Gaddafi with the opposition’s hands they switched to direct military involvement.

“It turned out that the rebel units cannot oppose Gaddafi’s military forces. That is why NATO has to conduct more of the military activities by itself and less of the concealment of its true objective – the destruction of Gaddafi and the political system that he had created that provided authentic sovereignty for Libya and prosperity for its citizens,” the statement reads.

Zyuganov also criticized Russia’s authorities for their position in the Libyan conflict. He said that this position allowed NATO to start the aggression in the first place, probably meaning that Russia did not use its veto in the Security Council vote on the Libya resolution. He also said that such a position was not adding to Russia’s international reputation and weakened the position of Russia’s mediating mission in Libya. 

In conclusion, Zyuganov said that the only solution to the Libyan crisis was the immediate end of the NATO military operation and also of the financial and political support to the “mercenaries who fight against the legitimate government in this country.” He also called for accepting the peace plan suggested by the African Union.

Russia abstained in the UN Security Council vote on the resolution authorizing the use of force in Libya, but President Medvedev amended the Russian legislation in accordance with the resolution, banning the sales of arms to Libya and also refusing Gaddafi and his close circle the right to enter the Russian Federation. Speaking at the G8 summit in late May, Medvedev said that Gaddafi had exhausted his legitimacy and must go. At the same time, Russian officials have repeatedly criticized the resolution and warned that it could lead to a lengthy war with numerous casualties.

Representatives of Gaddafi’s government and the rebels’ supreme body, the Provisionary Council, visited Moscow in May and held talks with the Russian foreign minister.

Russian presidential envoy Mikhail Margelov visited Libya earlier this week but only went to the rebels’ base of Benghazi and made no contact with Gaddafi’s government. Margelov described the leaders of the rebel government as decent and trustworthy people, but with no particular plans of reconciliation.